When the virgin Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she visited her relative Elizabeth, who was also miraculously pregnant, with John the Baptist. As soon as Mary arrived, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and pronounced a blessing over her. One statement in Elizabeth’s divine utterance stands out to me: “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord,” (Luke 1:45, ESV).

Mary’s simple faith in response to the words of the angel Gabriel is truly incredible. Several commentators have pointed out the contrast between her faith – to believe in a miracle that had never happened before and has never happened since, a virgin conception – and the disbelief of Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah, who doubted that the Lord would perform for his wife the same miracle He had for other women in the past, opening a barren womb in old age. The words the angel spoke to Zechariah were still fulfilled, but he was struck dumb until after John was born and he publicly acknowledged the miracle (Luke 1:13-22, 57-64).

Later, the risen Lord would tell doubting Thomas, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” (John 20:29, BSB). So we see a principle in Scripture, that whether we believe Him or not, He will still fulfill all of His promises. Indeed, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is,” (2 Timothy 2:13, NLT). He is a covenant-keeping God. What a mercy that He keeps His Word regardless of our response!

But as Elizabeth and Jesus both said, there is a greater blessing for us when we believe.  We are spared from worry, from despair, and from trying to bring about the promises ourselves. We become co-conspirators with God, brought in on the secrets of His good plans. We can smile as we look toward His promises, despite how circumstances may appear on the surface. Our faith is credited to us as righteousness, both by God and by the people who see and remember it (James 2:23, Hebrews 11). And what a wonder, that the same faith God rewards in us, is actually a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 12:9).

I pray that it will be said of you and me one day, like Mary, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”